The Inspirational Leadership Journey of Ms. Vonda Malone



Ms. Vonda Malone’s leadership journey is a remarkable story of resilience, dedication, and transformative vision. Appointed by Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, as the Chief Executive Officer of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), Ms. Malone’s career serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring leaders, especially women in the public sector.

Ms. Malone’s journey is nothing short of groundbreaking. As the first female Mayor of the Torres Shire Council, she shattered glass ceilings and set a powerful precedent for women in leadership roles. Her appointment as TSRA’s CEO is a testament to her unwavering commitment and remarkable capabilities.

With 22 years of extensive experience across three levels of government, Ms. Malone has honed her expertise in Indigenous Affairs. Her impressive career includes impactful roles at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the United Nations Office of the Human Rights Commission in Geneva. These positions have equipped her with a unique international perspective that she brings to her leadership at TSRA.

Beyond her titles and accolades, Ms. Malone’s profound impact lies in her dedication to empowering communities. Her vision for the TSRA is clear: “Empowering our people, in our decision, in our culture for our future.” This commitment is not just about delivering outcomes but also about fostering an environment where communities can thrive and lead their development.

Ms. Malone’s leadership has been recognised on multiple fronts. She was named the McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year in 2017, a prestigious accolade that highlights her exceptional contributions as Mayor of the Torres Shire Council. Additionally, she is a fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner’s Indigenous Fellowship Program. Her achievements also include the Centenary Medal and the NAIDOC Award of Excellence.

Ms. Malone’s commitment to leadership is underscored by her academic achievements. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Australian Rural Leadership and a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management. These qualifications reflect her dedication to continuous growth and her desire to equip herself with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead effectively.

Ms. Malone’s leadership journey is not just about personal achievements; it’s about inspiring others to follow in her footsteps. She aims to encourage women and people in regional and remote communities to pursue leadership opportunities.

Beyond delivering outcomes and positive change, I hope to encourage women and people in regional and remote communities to pursue leadership opportunities.”

Key Takeaways for Aspiring Leaders

  • Resilience and Determination: Ms. Malone’s journey highlights the importance of resilience and determination in overcoming barriers and achieving leadership success.
  • Community Focus: Effective leadership is about more than personal success; it’s about making a positive impact on the communities you serve.
  • Continuous Learning: Investing in your education and skills development is crucial for staying effective and relevant in leadership roles.
  • Inspiring Others: True leadership inspires and empowers others to pursue their potential and create positive change.

Ms. Vonda Malone’s journey is a testament to what can be achieved with resilience, dedication, and a commitment to community empowerment. Her story inspires aspiring leaders, particularly women in the public sector, to overcome obstacles and drive meaningful change.

What aspects of Ms. Malone’s journey resonate with you, and how can you apply these lessons to your own leadership path?

Don’t forget to save the date for Vonda’s session at our upcoming Women In Leadership Summit happening on August 28-29, 2024!